I have a 100gb pro account with Dropbox and i want to sync all or select files in my home directory between two mac's.

The way i've thought of this I only have two options..

My question is: is there a better way to do this, if not which of the two presented options in this diagram.

enter image description here

Option 1

Macbook Pro

home directory: /users/gorelative

Drop Box: /volumes/macintonshHD/DropBox/

symlink my home directory to a folder within dropbox

$ ln -s /users/gorelative /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox/gorelative`

Hackintosh (Desktop)

home directory: set to /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox/gorelative

Drop Box: /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox

Change the location of my homedirectory in account preferences to the folder downloaded from dropbox.

Option 2

Macbook Pro

home directory: /users/gorelative

Drop Box: /volumes/macintonshHD/DropBox/

symlink my home directory to a folder within dropbox

$ ln -s /users/gorelative /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox/gorelative`

Hackintosh (Desktop)

home directory: set to /users/gorelative Drop Box: /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox

$ ln -s /volumes/macintoshHD/DropBox/gorelative /users/gorelative

symlink my home directory to the dropbox folder of my home dir

Other Options?

Im sure there are other options, like changing the homedir on both machines to something with the dropbox folder.

  • okay, what about syncing specific folders Pictures, Documents, Music, Movies, Web Projects, Library – gorelative Jul 18 '12 at 20:58
  • i flip between my laptop and my desktop constantly, and i hate having two different prefs set on my IDEs, my applications, settings etc.. :) just want it to always be in sync. – gorelative Jul 18 '12 at 21:06

Update: Found a possible duplicate that may contain answers for you: Sharing or syncing home folders between Macs

Maybe I'm missing something here, but why not just have your Dropbox folder inside your home folder, and then just store your media files inside of Dropbox? You can make your own 'Pics, Docs...' folders inside of the Dropbox folder. That way you don't risk Dropbox messing up any system or software files by having it manage file versioning in your home folder.

If you really want to sync the entire home folder, you could try something like ChronoSync . But beware, and as it says at the bottom there, and will probably ring true for many third party solutions:

"Make sure to always synchronize each time you switch over to the other computer. If you fail to do this, conflicts may arise. A conflict is when the same file has changed on both computers. Since you have to choose between one file or the other, you would lose the changes made to one of the files. If a conflict does arise, then choose the file from the computer you last used."

  • Thanks, as that does not describe specific solutions, it is partially applicable.I want to know if its better to symlink or to hard store the home dir. – gorelative Jul 18 '12 at 21:18

Here is what i did on both machines:

I chose to sync the following folders & files, as they are what i work with frequently. Rather than syncing my entire home directory.


i moved all of the above folders/files to a user folder located in my dropbox folder at:

$ /volumes/macintoshHD/Dropbox/users/gorelative/

I then deleted these folders/files from my home directory located at:

$ /users/gorelative/

I then symlinked all of the folders/files above from my dropbox folder to my home directory.

//$ ln -s /path/to/source /path/to/destination
$ ln -s /volumes/macintoshHD/Dropbox/users/gorelative/Documents /users/gorelative/Documents
  • 2
    how has this worked for you over the last year? has it caused you any trouble? like this solution still? i'm thinking of doing it myself. many thanks for your help. – Sean Ahrens Oct 4 '13 at 1:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.